Beat Burnout and Reignite the Passion for Practice
As chiropractic small business owners, we definitely have our fair share of stressors. After years of Fire dealing with insurance hassles, managing staff and patients and busting your chiropractic marketing hump to get new clients in the door month after month, it’s easy to believe that on occasion, a chiropractor may find him or herself losing a little of the fire.
They absorb themselves so deeply into ensuring the success of their practice that they lose the edge of what is really the secret sauce of a successful business model… BALANCE.
To help you restore that balance, try to incorporate the following to prevent burnout and reignite your passion for practice.
1. Give Less to Get More
While most chiropractors will proudly boast that they give 110% to their practice, sadly in most cases this is really 110% of their time verses effort.
Giving full effort and time simultaneously is nearly impossible. It typically results in a lot of unproductive hours.
To correct this, consider the option of giving 100% of your effort for 80% of your work week and the other 20% back to yourself or your family.
Most chiropractors find that when they reduce the amount of time they are working in their office, it will improve their focus and overall numbers as they will now spend more time working on the growth of their office.
But don’t put all this non-clinic-grind time into working on the practice. Take time for yourself. I enjoy singing at church so I started taking off Wednesdays at 4 so I could go practice and also reset my Friday hours so I could participate in a men’s soccer league.
Net result: Better focus and energy when in the clinic and new patients gained through meeting people at these activities.
Don’t settle for enjoying life only when you can squeeze it in between business. Put fun activities, rewarding experiences, and exceptional adventures on your calendar and protect them like you would any other appointment.
2. Focus Your Efforts
After you work so hard to get your business up and going, it’s easy to hit a plateau (profitable or unprofitable) that you settle into where you and your staff behave and perform in certain familiar ways. And while coasting may be okay for a while, over time it will likely lead to stagnation and boredom with your job.
An effective way to break through that potential burnout state is to pick an area of your company and focus on improving only it. For example, whether you feel it needs improving or not, absorb yourself into just the front office for a month and recreate the training manuals, role play with the staff and really get them dialed in and fired up about their position.
By transferring your focus from the typical overseeing of everything to the detailed assessment of one area, you’ll discover what is working and what isn’t.
The energy they gain from increased competence and effectiveness at their position and the satisfaction you gain from a front office that is functioning more optimally is a great combination for rekindling that business spark.
3. Set a Team Goal
Setting a goal that everyone can aim for will result in a powerful change of direction, intention, and motivation. That can help pull everyone out of a burnout state.
A ‘team goal’ is simply a collective accomplishment that you and the staff are shooting for during a one month period. It may be a certain number of patient visits or reduction in the number of missed appointment or some combination therein.
To create an effective team goal that gets everyone fired up and ready to rock, try this formula:
1.Set a hit goal that is at least a 10% improvement compared to your typical numbers.
2.Set a plan for how each area of the clinic will help accomplish the goal
3.Create a great reward for the entire clinic if the goal is hit
4. Truly disconnect
In today’s chiropractic clinic and business environment, we are constantly tied to computer or smart phone as we plod through our always-on world.
So the question becomes. Is it possible to totally disconnect from all of it? And by that I mean being totally out of touch with work.
For some yes and others it’s a little tougher.
I took a recent trip to Jamaica with like-minded professionals and upon hotel arrival we all turned over our computers, cell phones and watches to be placed in a safe for 5 days forcing us to ‘disconnect.’
Most chiropractors are scared to death to do this, worrying that they might miss something incredibly urgent. However, if you have followed my advice on #2 above, you will definitely find it to an easier idea to consider – and execute.
Disconnecting the burned out circuits that tether your brain to your clinic will free up so much space in your head that you will be amazed at the great ideas you find yourself brainstorming and jotting down about your practice and other business ideas. You will wonder why you waited so long to give this a try.
The reality is that getting into a rut and beginning to question if what you once loved is still something you enjoy is a normal part of chiropractic business. The trick is knowing how to reignite the pilot light into a full blow fire before the flame burns out completely.